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How Big Should Your Garage Be?

Oct 20, 2021
Don’t sleep on the size of the garage when buying a new home or planning to make an extended one. It may seem immaterial but the size of the garage is something you don’t want to do wrong. There is of course a room for mistakes because it’s almost impossible to measure everything correctly and predict what your future decisions will be for your garage. The least you can do is get the basic size correctly and account for possible scenarios your garage might be of use in the future. As always if you decide with an informed mind, you would be saving money in the long run. For many years, the average size of a garage has been 9 to 10 feet wide and 18 to 20 feet long per car that you own. Add to this one garage door that’s approximately 8 feet wide. But with changing car models and more stuff added that needs storage, garage sizes have largely varied and it’s hard to pinpoint a standard size these days. It really boils down to what use your garage will be for you. Whether you choose to do it yourself or call a professional to do it for you, here are some guidelines for your calculations.
1. How much space will you allot for your car/s, storage, and other activities?
You would even have to take into account the things that you will be owning in the future that for sure will be stored in your garage someday. This means you have to add extra space to your calculation. The general rule of thumb is the more room the garage has, the better.
2. What materials will you be using for your garage walls?
A rookie may rely on the sizes builders will give but you’re no rookie. You know that when they discuss garage sizes, they mean how big it will be on the outside. The inside will definitely be smaller because it will depend on the thickness of your garage walls. If we’re talking about standard sizes, the interior is approximately 6 to 8 inches smaller than the exterior. Knowing the difference between these two will help you avoid space shortage.
3. What are the local zoning rules in your area?
Check the guidebook with your local zoning authority before ordering any materials and starting construction. Make sure your calculations abide by the area’s zoning rules because your idea may not be allowed for the lot in the first place. To save money, don’t skip on this step and check the rules.
4. How big are your cars?
Do you own an SUV or a pickup truck? You may search your car dimensions but the best way to do it is to get a tape measure and know the length, width, and height of your vehicle. Once you know how big your car is, add at least 2.5 inches to both sides so that you would account for the distance between the wall and the vehicle. This is the space you need to be able to open the car doors and get in and out of it. If you don’t have that much space, want space to be allotted for other uses, or have a small lot due to budget constraints, you may cut the 2.5 inches a bit. This would require you to squeeze yourself in and out of the car which may be a little inconvenient but something you’ll be able to live with anyway. Different types have recommended garage lengths which are as follows: an average car is 14 feet, a small pick-up truck is 18 feet, and a van, SUV, or big pick-up truck is within 20 to 22 feet.
5. How many cars do you have?
The length and width of your garage will be calculated differently depending on how many you would be parking in your garage. A head-to-tail measurement is for a single-car garage. For a double garage, the length and width of your garage dimensions may be almost the same. A side-to-side measurement is recommended for garages with three cars to be parked. There are popular sizes for these three types: one-car garage is 10 to 14 feet wide; the two-car garage is 20 to 28 feet wide and; the three-car garage is a minimum of 31 feet in width.
6. How much storage space will you need?
The bigger the space for storage, the more your future self will be thanking you for. While storage is easy to adjust unlike for your car, you’ll be thanking yourself if you account for the optimal space for storage. If you are only storing bicycles and handyman tools in your garage, the length of up to 4 feet can suffice. If you need space for a workshop area, go up to 10 feet long. If you need a workspace in addition to the space your car will be occupying, opt for a 28-feet garage. But in any case, the recommended size by Garage Hold is 32 feet because it will have ample space for a washing machine, mower, or a new motorcycle. If you still do need more storage space in the future, adding floor area to your garage is not only the viable option. You may explore many garage storage solutions in the market. FlexiMounts allows you to maximize space through overhead storage or wall shelving. It has racks to choose from where you can put your boxes of tools and at the same time, hang a bicycle, a foldable chair, wires, ropes, and whatnot. All these just make use of your ceiling space. Another way is through wall shelving where FlexiMounts has a 2-pack wall shelf and adjustable 3-tier wall shelving. There is also no need for additional floor space.
7. How big is your garage door and what type will you get?
This will depend on the size of your vehicle and how much space there is in between the door and the car. Let’s talk about the size first. For a single-car garage, 9 feet is already enough but it could actually be shorter if the car is smaller. For a two-car garage, you may opt to get two separate doors for each car or a big large one that is the sum of the two cars’ sizes plus more. What’s recommended for a large double door is a minimum of 16 feet. For a three-car garage, builders suggest having a double door that’s 16 feet in size for two cars and a single door which is at least 9 feet for the third car. The type of car door matters because if you choose a swing-out door, you have to take into account how much space it will need to distance the car from the door when it swings open. Is it even impossible given the space that you have? A rollout garage door might be better in all circumstances because it saves room and won’t have any problem touching the parked car when the door opens or closes.
Final Thoughts
The size of the garage matters at present because of the sizes of your vehicles and in the future, when you have more things to store that you cannot just give away or sell.